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View Full Version : Anyone using auto lipsynch software?

Tom Wood
07-21-2003, 02:07 PM
Hi All.

I'm working on a project where I'd decided to just fake the lipsynch with basically two mouth conditions, moving or still. But now I'd like to see what it would take to go one step farther. I think I could accept the results of a program that would get most of the phenomes right, using about 6 morph targets. I've been to the Talkmaster site, but it's still referencing LW 6.5! What other lipsynch software is current to LW 7.5?



07-21-2003, 05:13 PM
I have played with Face Station in Maya and its incredible. I'm not sure if they have a LW port yet but love to get one when they do. Basically once you rig your character for it you can use either live vid feed or saved files of someone face talking away and then see the results in realtime on your character. Very sweet stuff and my description does not do it justice. Heres a quick overview of the product.

Triple G
07-21-2003, 05:36 PM
I dunno....I always thought MorphMixer worked pretty well...:shrug:

Tom Wood
07-21-2003, 05:59 PM
MorphMixer can analyze the audio track and extract morph targets automatically? I'm lazy you see... Looking for quick and dirty.


Triple G
07-21-2003, 06:00 PM
ahh...ok, gotcha. :beer:

07-21-2003, 06:16 PM
doesn't motionbuilder do that?

07-21-2003, 07:04 PM
how about magpie pro? We use it here, but then I'm just the TD so I couldn't give you details...

07-21-2003, 07:10 PM
Magpie works great with LW. Used it, love it. If you want to go with Out of the Box LW don't forget you can use SockMonkey with your selection sets! Its also a decent way to go.

Triple G
07-21-2003, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by Shade01
doesn't motionbuilder do that?

I haven't tried it myself, but yes...Motionbuilder (http://www.kaydara.com/products/motionbuilder/index.php) will allow you to use an audio file to automatically drive your character's facial animation. You do need to model your morph targets ahead of time, but when you tell MB which targets go with which phonemes, it'll do everything for you. You can check it out in the issue 4 Motionbuilder VTM at www.3dbuzz.com.

Tom Wood
07-21-2003, 07:39 PM
I've considered Magpie Pro, but there are several things about their website that raise concerns:


For one, it hasn't been updated in nearly a year, and there are many references to working with LW6. It also doesn't list Win XP as an operating system that will run it. Anyone bought MP lately?

Thanks All,


07-22-2003, 03:50 AM
Didn't someone write a midi script some time ago. At the time I was running LW6 and WinNT. The script always crashed Lightwave. If I could control the phenome channels with my keyboard and make them congruent to specific keys, it would have been heaven. Then I'd just have to push one of my keys to get the morph that I wanted. I don't know what happened to that script though.

07-22-2003, 04:44 AM
For one, it hasn't been updated in nearly a year, and there are many references to working with LW6. It also doesn't list Win XP as an operating system that will run it. Anyone bought MP lately?

magpie pro doesn't need an upgrade it's a top simple lip scyn tool
i'm using it on Win pro pro and a dual cpu and runs great
i normally do a good going over in Magpie,
then alitle tidy up in morph mixer works great :thumbsup:
plus auto lip scyn works well when your alooking at alot of lipscyn
i;m sure there a demo try it before anything else

07-22-2003, 05:30 PM
I've looked a bit into Facestation, which at first looked awesome, but at a closer look the mouth only goes up and down, it doesn't go "inward". So the final result doesn't always look good. Take the shark in "Finding Nemo" for example, if the mouth was to only go up and down it wouldn't look good at all.
MotionBuilder however sounds interesting. If what Triple G says is right about that it can use an audio file to control morph targets. Then maybe you could simply just replace the bad morph targets with another better morph target?

Must say Facestation looks like a great timesaver though.

07-22-2003, 06:00 PM
I've used magpie pro for years. It works great and, yeah, time has passed but it still produces output for most of the software out there. The last update just added cinema4d output but the over all functionality stayed the same. You probably won't see any update to magpie unless LW 8 completely changes the morph mixer and requires a rewrite.

In any case you can just email them at the thirdwishsoftware, they replied to my questions pretty quickly (within 24hrs)


Triple G
07-22-2003, 06:23 PM
I just looked into Motionbuilder a bit more, and its auto-lip sync really looks quite nice. Because the program is real-time, you can even hook up a microphone and have the character lip-sync as you speak...amazing! (Of course, there's a tiny bit of a delay, but still...pretty cool.) You can define as many or as few phonemes as you need, and you can weight individual targets so that they'll be held longer, you can adjust the damping so that there's not as much "lip pop"...and I'm sure there's more that I haven't gotten to yet. Although, for a high-profile project, I think I'd still probably want to have the control of manually animating it...but if you've got a ton of lip-sync to do and not a lot of time to do it in, this could be the answer. :)

Tom Wood
07-22-2003, 09:00 PM
Thanks All,

I'm looking at the MB site now. I emailed Magpie for more info.


Triple G
07-22-2003, 09:09 PM
The best thing, really, is to see it in action. Head over to www.3dbuzz.com. I think you need to sign up to become a member, but once you do, you'll have access to the downloads section. It's in the sidebar...click on Downloads, which will twirl down, and then click on downloads again. (Not sure why they did that, but whatever.) Click on "I agree" on the next page, and that will take you to a page where you can download the Motionbuilder VTMs (among those for many other apps.) The ones you'll probably be most interested in are in Issue 4...number 8 to be precise, "Animating with the Voice Device". Granted, the lip-sync doesn't look so hot viewing the video because it's encoded at 10fps, but I can assure you in the actual program it looks much, much better. :buttrock:

Tom Wood
07-22-2003, 09:29 PM

BTW, I assume we are talking about Kaydara's ONLINE product? There isn't a price anywhere on their site, so I emailed them. Waiting with a cringe to see what price they quote, it looks $$$. :surprised


Triple G
07-22-2003, 09:59 PM
Actually, I was referring to Kaydara's Motionbuilder (http://www.kaydara.com/products/motionbuilder/index.php). You can buy Motionbuilder PE for $100 from their online store (I believe the offer's only good until the end of this month). This will get you a 1-year license, which you can freely use for freelance work. Starting in August, you can pay an additional $100 and get a full permanent license of Motionbuilder 5, when it's released. If you wait until after this promotion is over, Motionbuilder 5 will cost you $995....so if you're at all interested, now's the time to act.

On a purely personal note, I own a copy of Motionbuilder PE for OSX, and have been using it for a few months now. It works very well alongside Lightwave...it's not perfect for everything, but it definitely makes up for a lot of LW's shortcomings in the character animation department. I'm completely happy with it...for $100, it's a downright steal. :thumbsup:

Tom Wood
07-22-2003, 10:28 PM
Thanks Gregg,

I see that MotionBuilder voice thing on their site now.

BTW, Miguel Grinberg with Third Wish Software quickly returned my email and assured me that Magpie Pro is updated for 7.5c and XP, so I apologize if I gave any wrong impressions in my posts above.


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